Kiev’s Olympics Stadium awaits its Euro final
It’s the eve of the European Championship final in Kiev. Two Nations and their supporters around the globe are awaiting this finale with nerves, anxiety and excitement.
It’s been a brilliant tournament, new nations have emerged and gained significant respect amongst the footballing world, and certain players have made themselves known to prospective clubs around Europe.
The two nations left; Spain and Italy are the passing gods of our game, as demonstrated in their 1-1 draw at the beginning of the tournament these teams – like to pass, pass and pass until a goal is scored.
It can be quite the bore fest for some, but for spectators like me, I enjoy the beauty of it.
Italy, aren’t playing the football we are used to seeing form them. Coming into the tournament they were by some completely written off by sections of the media and by football supporters.
There was also massive controversy associated with them, with allegations of match fixing surrounding the Italians once again.
But they have most definitely proved a lot of their critics wrong, and have re-ignited their love affair with playing the beautiful game.
Personally, I have been very impressed with this side, they were not always at their best, but they haven’t lost in this tournament, have scored six goals, and conceded three.
Their star players haven’t been the Balotelli’s of their side, but the old heads have made us stand up, applaud and respect.
Gigi Buffon has been beyond exceptional, he is all class, he never seems to let pressure interfere with his game, and he has this assuring and calming presence amongst the younger players. A
ndrea Pirlo has been beyond brilliant, he has been my player of the tournament. The way he can just boss that midfield, and make his opposition look like complete fools, is a testament to himself as a man, and his development as a player, when Juve picked him up on a free transfer people were laughing, now though the laughter’s have subsided.
Going to Juve has done Andre the world of good, and as England has learnt never write a player because of his age, my Pirlo highlight has to be THAT penalty against ENG, pure class and a testament to himself.
Other players which I have been impressed by, include Daniele De Rossi, who gets me excited by just a touch of the ball, he is a genus, he plays sexy football and as a Manchester United supporter, I would pay his salary for him to be at our club, he is pure footballing class.
Cassano has impressed me, though he plays better with Di Natale rather than Balotelli, and speaking of Balotelli, he may be one crazy, attention seeking nut case, but when his head is in the game, this man can play, and does it so well, he will be a massive threat to Spain if he controls his antics.
I was completely surprised that they overcame Germany, it was a very gutsy and technical performance, by them so Spain will not be under-estimating their opponents.
My Italian Starting XI:
Balzaretti Bonucci Chiellini Maggio
Motta De Rossi Pirlo Di Manti
Espania, Spain, La Roja – My team, and in my opinion, one of the greatest sides in world football, have made the finale minus – our jungle man Puyol and our El Guaje Villa who both have been prolific in our recent successes.
Spain have not set the footballing world alight this tournament but they have conjured up vast amounts of criticism due to them playing without a recognized striker.
I wasn’t too fond of the 4-6-0 formation at the start, but it works in Spain’s favor. Without Villa our options are limited in the striking department, Torres isn’t at his best and Llorente isn’t at his peak fitness level from his unbelievable season with Bilbao, so this formation does work in our favor, as we have our best assets (midfielders) controlling the game.
There are a few Spanish players who have come out of their shell so far. Jordi Alba has been magnifique he is such a versatile left back and his pin point crosses have been superb. The only problem with his play has been his tendency to leave his marker, though with experience he will overcome that.
Xabi Alonso has proved me wrong. Coming into the tournament I wanted him used as a substitute, but he hasn’t had a bad game in him, and put on a master class against the French. He is as important to this side as Xavi and Iniesta.
Now to speak about Iniesta, he has been one of the highlights of the competition. He just keeps wowing us with his brilliance, any time he touches the ball is a highlight.
He has been our best player, he attacks, his vision with passing is second to none, and he knows to frustrate his opposition with his hermetic defense. He is perfect.
I can’t praise the Spanish side without praising San Iker, the amount of times he has kept us in matches, and created calm within the squad is countless. He is so pivotal to this side, and will be a massive factor in whether Spain clinch this tournament or not, he is going up against his hero, so he will be doing his utmost to come out on top.
My Spanish Starting XI:
Alba Pique Ramos Arbeola
Xavi Iniesta Alonso
Silva Fabregas Busquets
Both sides will have learnt a lot from their 1-1 draw during the group stages, so lets hope both sides don’t go for the one goal, then park the bus. I want to see beautiful attacking football at both ends. Best of luck to both nations, as they both thoroughly deserved to be here.
Prediction – Spain 3 Italy 2
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